Bobcats battle back to top Wizards 100-94

Published on NewsOK Modified: March 31, 2014 at 10:39 pm •  Published: March 31, 2014
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Al Jefferson laughed when told he finished three stitches shy of a triple-double.

"I have to call my agent because I'm done with my modeling career," Jefferson said.

Jefferson had seven stitches in the first half to repair a gash above his right eye, but returned to finish with 19 points and 11 rebounds, helping the Bobcats overcome an 11-point fourth-quarter deficit and defeat Washington 100-94 Monday night. The win prevented the Wizards from clinching their first playoff berth since 2008.

Jefferson's put back off an offensive rebound with 3:30 left in the game helped the Bobcats take the lead for good at 93-92.

Kemba Walker had a big second half, finishing with 21 points and 10 assists, and rookie Cody Zeller scored a career-high 15 points on 4-of-4 shooting and added eight rebounds for Charlotte.

Walker scored nine points in the final quarter and the Bobcats erased a 16-point halftime deficit and pulled within two games of the Washington in the race for the sixth seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs Both teams have eight games left and will meet again on April 9.

"We made big shots and played well defensively in the second half and really came together as a team," Walker said. "It shows our resiliency. That was a big win for us."

Bradley Beal had 20 points for the Wizards, who missed 11 of their last 14 shots from the field.

"It (stinks) man," Washington's Al Harrington said of not clinching a playoff spot. "Because obviously we played a great first half. We really thought tonight was our night, but to have them come out and play the way that they played and beat us — that's tough."

Washington still would have clinched a playoff spot if the Utah Jazz had defeated New York later Monday, but the Knicks won 92-83.

The Wizards (38-36) came in looking to snap the third-longest playoff drought in the NBA — and for a while it looked like they would.

The Wizards shot 59 percent in the first half, at one point hitting 10 straight shots from the field and scoring on 14 of 15 possessions to close the first half on a 30-7 run.

The Bobcats could do little right in what Jefferson called an "embarrassing" first half.

But he was confident they would battle back.